Something that I love about Mexico is that at any moment you might see something weird and wonderful to make you laugh, to make you think or to stop you in your tracks altogether. I thought it would be fun for me, and hopefully for you, if I created a list of some of the strange things I have seen in my time….so here we go with the first (and definitely not the last) instalment of Uniquely Mexico.
The Banda Loving Hearse
Just the other day I saw a hearse cruising along the street and blaring out banda music at top volume. The driver was singing along and the vehicle was positively rocking. On closer inspection, I saw the hearse turn into a private parking spot and realized this wasn’t some up-beat funeral but rather an off-duty hearse returning to the depot. That cheeky driver definitely cheered up my afternoon.
Achy Breaky Corazon
Remember Achy Beaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus? Yep that song from 20 years ago! Well in Mexico the Spanish version of that song is still very popular. It has been played at every family party I think I have ever been to and everyone gets up and line-dances to it. Everyone knows the steps. I have seen it with my own eyes, on numerous occasions…Oh mi pobre Corazon! (Maybe I’m just jealous because I don’t know the steps?)
Piñatas appear in usual places. The other day a convertible sports car passed by with batman and spiderman cruisin’ in the back seat. Last Christmas I saw a girl on the back of a motorbike clinging on to a huge Christmas star piñata for dear life. A good friend ended up riding with R2D2 on her lap whilst moving house, I am sure the movers were wondering why this crazy foreigner loved it so much she moved house with it or maybe it was nothing out of the ordinary!
I’ve seen clowns driving cars, clowns passing by on buses, clowns having arguments with their girlfriends, clowns fighting, clowns crying. You name it, I’ve seen clowns doing it (except maybe that!)
I see Dead People Everywhere
Much like the clowns, I have seen skeletons everywhere. Drinking tea, skeletons up a telephone pole fixing the wires, a skeleton on stilts that appeared down a dark alley (scaring me, my friend and her dog out of our skin), skeletons dressed as nuns, skeletons with guns, skeletons in a band playing instruments. The dead get up to all sorts in Mexico.
I once saw a man in his seventies walking across a kind of tightrope holding a very long and heavy pole, whilst a man in a skirt, who had just been part of a dance where young men dress as old women, stood underneath preparing to catch his pole walking friend if he fell. It looked a little something like this!
There are so many more but I’ll leave you with these for now…Feel free to share your own, I’m sure some ideas are already springing to mind!
Susannah Rigg is a freelance writer and Mexico specialist. Her work has been featured in BBC Travel, CNN Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR and The Independent among others . Check out her portfolio here. Contact Susannah by email, info [at] mexicoretold [dot] com and join her on Instagram and Twitter.